Sherman, Cindy: Rearscreen Projections, 1980-1981
A woman becomes a stranger to herself! The face conceals many faces. We have often seen this woman - with a petrol canister by the roadside, wedged in the skewed angles of high-rise New York facades, dressed in a historic costume, her face mask-like and rigid, tied up in a corset of artificial limbs, as a housewife and a vamp, a doll and a clown, a model and a monster and a murder victim. Cindy Sherman first stepped in front of her own camera in 1977 in the 'Untitled' film stills, noticeably closely related to the frigid beauties in Hitchcock films. That was when the delight in disguises developed into artistic role-playing. The performer accompanied her persona from black-and-white isolation into obscene positions and into the blatant colourfulness of locations that have been laid waste like the scenes of murderous crimes. The ugly side of beauty is revealed between erotic expectation and senile decay, beneath wigs and behind dummies. Finally, the artist disappears from the picture and leaves behind the plastic patchwork of anatomical parts. What addresses the viewers, men or women, in these portraits is the stranger in themselves.